U.S. Markets

Obama says to keep pressing China on currency, intellectual property

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will continue to press China on its currency, protection of intellectual property and state-owned businesses, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday ahead of bilateral trade talks next week.

“The key with China is to continue to simply press them on those areas where trade is imbalanced, whether it’s on their currency practices, whether it’s on IP (intellectual property) protection, whether it’s on their state-owned enterprises,” he said at a meeting of the President’s Export Council.

“The business investment treaty that they have shown an interest in negotiating could end up being a significant piece of business,” Obama said.

U.S. and Chinese officials will gather in Chicago for Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade talks next week, where they are expected to discuss progress toward an investment treaty.

Washington aims to loosen Beijing’s restrictions in key sectors from service industries to agriculture and ensure that foreign companies receive treatment equal to Chinese private and state-owned enterprises.

In its latest report on currency manipulation, the U.S. Treasury Department said China's yuan currency CNY= was "significantly undervalued" but said Beijing appeared to be taking less of a hand in determining its value.

Reporting by Krista Hughes and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Susan Heavey and James Dalgleish